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Posted by Carolyn in Smithville, MO on 10/26/2014

How does the saying go, "The best-laid plans of mice and men oft go astray." After purchasing a piece of land in 2006 the plan was to build a home. This would be our final build, the perfect house in the perfect spot. We lived fairly close to the property, only 15 minutes away. We planned out what the final project would consist of. Planning, a larger main house partnered with a detached garage, that has a small apartment above. The garage (aka carriage house) would be built first and we would occupy it while we sold our current home. The plan was to live in the carriage house for a year, two at the most, savings and planning the pain house. The construction of the carriage house was documented in our first journal titled, “Homestead”.

Our first experience as owner building took longer than we thought but was overall an enjoyable experience. We gained an immense amount of knowledge during this process and were blessed with great tradesman that worked well with us. We were also lucky that we were able to build a smaller structure first. It allowed us to learn and when a mistake was made that cost us money it was on a smaller scale. And note... I said “WHEN," not "IF a mistake was made.” One thing that you should be certain of is that mistakes will be made. Some from lack of planning and some from lack of knowledge. It helps to plan, plan and plan some more. Think it through. Write it down. Draw it out. And then plan some more. Professional builders make mistakes too. They simply have the luxury of learning from the mistakes made on your house to improve the process, and their bottom line, on the next house. As owner builders, we typically don’t have this luxury as we're not planning on repeating the process multiple times.

Back to my point of best laid plans. We were to build the carriage house, move in, sell our current home and then start construction of the main house. We made it all the way through the sale of our current house in 2010 and then stopped. I am a real estate agent and the market had taken a down turn, along with it, my income took a down turn. We decided to wait to start the main house build.

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